9. Optimal Positions

Head down isn’t the only factor! Map your belly and learn how to encourage baby into an optimal position for labor.

Mapping Your Belly

If you're curious about your baby's position, consider mapping your belly. Spinning babies offers a guidebook for a small cost along with many tips to encourage a breech or poorly positioned baby to shift into an optimal position. Also posted on their website are suggested balancing activities, which can help alleviate discomfort and correct a posterior position to avoid "back labor." Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth eliminates the potential for dystocia and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.

Pay attention to your posture when you stand or sit. Sitting on a birth/exercise ball will help you maintain proper alignment after a chiropractic adjustment as well as keep you comfortable in the final weeks of pregnancy.


Turn Baby, Turn!

If your baby is breech, we highly recommend that you consider these tips before trying anything else. For more do-it-yourself tips and tricks that may encourage baby to turn, visit this page.


Combined Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Moxibustion is simply burning moxa sticks. When performed correctly, the heat may encourage baby to move and turn head-down. A randomized controlled trial shows that approximately 70% of breech babies will turn using moxibustion. It is recommended that acupuncture and moxibustion be combined for maximum effect. Afraid of needles? Here is a simple moxibustion do-it-yourself guide.

If you want to try a great acupuncturist in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend Jim Gordon at Intown Acupuncture. (He also helps induce labor when the baby is overdue.)


The Webster Technique

Dr. Larry Webster developed a chiropractic technique that balances the pelvis properly, while reducing stress to the round ligaments that support the uterus. The round ligaments hold the uterus in suspension within the abdomen and can become thin and tight like a rubber band. This tension can cause sharp, spastic pains and restricts the baby's movement, which often causes a baby to stay in a breech position beyond 37 weeks. Learn more on the Webster Technique and watch the video below.


External Cephalic Version

If your baby is not head down by 36 weeks, your care provider will recommend an external cephalic version to be performed at 37 weeks gestation. The "version" is a technique that manually turns a baby into the head down position. This is done in order to avoid a c-section since there are very few OBs and midwives that support breech deliveries. 

In 2008, Grootscholten et al. pooled the results of 84 studies that included 12,955 women. The average success rate for turning a baby out of the breech position was 58%. The overall complication rate was 6%, and the rate of serious complications (placenta abruption or stillbirth) was 0.24%. For more evidence-based birth information, please visit here.

The video below shows a successful version and I recommend that you watch it and be sure to ask the risks involved before you consent.